The U.K.'s top Muslim organization has said that U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham should be denied a visa to the country for his "hatred" and "bigotry."
"In the past the government has banned individuals whom they claim are 'not conducive to the public good'. Mr Graham's remarks are on record and clearly demonstrate a hatred for Muslims and other minorities," the Muslim Council of Britain said on Sunday, as reported by The Guardian.
"We would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry."
British politicians, including a government whip, and even some churches have all raised concerns over Graham being invited to preach at a Christian festival in Blackpool later in September.
Graham has criticized Islam in his rhetoric, especially in the wake of terror attacks around the world, and has backed U.S. President Donald Trump's hard stance on immigration.
The evangelist, who is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has in the past denied any notions that he is planning on preaching hate against Muslims or any other minorities at the upcoming Festival of Hope.
"I'm not coming to preach hate, I'm here to preach about a savior, Jesus Christ who can make a difference in our lives if we put our faith and trust in Him," Graham told Premier in an interview in January.
"We're not here to preach against anyone, we're here to talk about God," he affirmed.
Gordon Marsden, the Labour MP for Blackpool South, is understood to be planning to write to Sajid Javid, the home secretary, calling on Graham to be denied a visa.
The Blackpool event has also prompted a backlash from LGBT groups. Back in July, Blackpool Transport banned ads on its buses that promoted the Festival of Hope, set to take place between September 21-23, explaining that it had received complaints that the preacher might promote "hate and homophobia" at the event.
Graham responded to that controversy as well, and posted on Facebook:
"I'm sorry that some see hope as offensive, but I can assure you that tens of thousands of people in Blackpool and across the United Kingdom are searching for hope."
"Sex, drugs, money, even religion — none of these are the answer. I'm coming to share with everyone in Blackpool, Lancashire, and across North West England that there is One who can give you hope," Graham added at the time. "Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity. His name is Jesus Christ!"